Thursday, May 31, 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo 2012

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in just a few hours and I have just barely finished the last proofing of my first novel. It's not even in publishing manuscript form, so I still have a bit more work to do on it. I will probably tweak it some more after I get rolling on my Camp NNWM book.

I am so tempted to change the ending of my book. I thought I had a brilliant ending until I proofed it last night. It wasn't as brilliant as I thought, so I changed it. I know there is a better ending out in the ether somewhere. I just have to find it and am waiting for the inspiration to come to me. I worked on the last edits all the way until 6am. The last paragraph stumped me and I could've yelled out in frustration if other people were not sleeping in the house. I knew it could be better, but I was just so tired by then that I came up with a satisfactory ending, but not that great in my opinion. It'll come to me soon. It has to.

As for Camp NNWM, my approach is different this time since I have no time to work out a decent outline. A couple of days ago I was going to write about genetically engineered people and a girl in a psychic gift shop, but then looked at my log of story ideas and found other stories I'd rather do.

So now I'm trying to narrow it down from 7 different ideas to one. I'm not sure what I'm in the mood to write about. Secret agents/spies? Vampires? Kids with supernatural abilities? Witches? Vampires? Stories revolving around the Nazi Bell? Revenge? Haunted dolls? Whatever it is, I have only a few hours to pick one, flesh it out, and outline. Wonderful.

It took me a month to outline my first book and that was a "simple" love story. I didn't follow the outline anyway, so I'm not putting too much worry on it this time, but the ending is the most crucial right now, I think. Without it I think I'll meander around going nowhere. We'll see how this book goes with or without an ending on the first day, IF I don't come up with one in the next few hours. It's all a learning process and I'm experimenting as I go along.

One tip I do in MS Word that I'd like to add that I'm not sure if other people do is to highlight the names of my characters in the entire manuscript. I just hit Ctrl + F, type in the name of a character, do a Find All in the document, then change the color and/or bold the text. It changes them all at one time. That way if I need to refer quickly to what that character was doing a few chapters back, I can spot them easily as I scroll back.

I also color the key descriptions in red so I know not to repeat the description somewhere else in the document. 

With each draft, I change the color of the text so I know where I left off.

MS Word does not go back to the end of the document where I left off. That is so annoying to have to scroll all the way down. What I do now is put an odd word at the end of the document or where I want to go back to, then do a search for that word when I open the document up again. I use a word I haven't used in my story. It takes a second or two to get to where I need to go and saves time.

I guess everyone has odd ways of working. Those are just a few of mine.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

May Update

I am almost done with my 3rd draft of my first novel. Somewhere between my 2nd and 3rd draft, I deleted 30,000+ words! When I started my 3rd draft I had about 51,000 words. I have 2 more chapters to edit/revise and it is now at 61,000 words.

I love my characters and will miss them when my book is done.

Camp NaNoWriMo starts in a couple of weeks. I'm VERY tempted to take on the challenge. My first book is a YA Romance, but I want to write a scary book for kids next in the genre of Goosebumps. I have so many ideas, but have to pick one. It's making my head spin. If you are interested in taking the novel writing challenge in June or August 2012, go to  Come on! 50,000 words in 1 month! You can do it!

My outline is probably going to take me a long time like it did for my first book. I wish I had a month to prepare, but I don't. I have to finish these last 2 chapters asap.

I have found just by pure chance a great book called Writing Conversations by Cherie K. Miller. It contains inspirational quotes and advice from successful writers. I read about 2 pages per day even though it's meant for you to read a quote per day to encompass 365 days in the year. Once I am done, I plan on re-reading it over and over. It motivates and inspires me. Even if you've read some of the advice somewhere else before, it's good to refresh your memory and get you thinking about things that you may have forgotten while writing your book. I read it while eating breakfast just before I start writing. It's great because I don't feel pressured to finish it.

I am learning Danish and Swedish and found that book while doing a search for grammar books in those languages. It's very strange that that book showed up in the search. I guess it was meant to be. :o)

A writer that I know, Nina Berry, has inspired me to update this blog after I saw that she has had her blog since 2005. Wow! I feel like a slacker! She is coming out with a YA paranormal romance in July 2012 called Otherkin. Check it out if you get a chance.

I had been so busy writing my novel that I had abandoned this blog. Another reason for not updating it was that I was afraid I might write things that were too personal. Upon reflection, I think I might have some interesting or useful things to say, so I am going to try to keep updating it on a regular basis.

I started writing in a journal again. Any form of writing is good practice, so I've heard. The main reason why I started writing in a journal again was because I had lost my credit card and was unaware of it for 6 days! I couldn't remember where I had been or what I had bought within that week. I had to ask the credit card company what my last purchase was. Thank God it was at a Japanese restaurant whose workers were honest. They still had my credit card when I called them. So, I guess in a way the universe was getting me to write. Now I know what I did 6 days ago if I ever need to refer back. Ha, ha.

I also keep the journal so that my descendants will know a little bit about me after I'm gone. It's a good reason. I wish I had known more about my relatives that came before me. If we all had that, then maybe we would understand a little bit more about ourselves. It's good for noting family stories to pass on to our kids.

Okay, now I have to get back to my novel.